A group of concerned mothers have been banding together to help rid their neighborhood of violence. Everyday these women come together to walk the streets of a Chicago neighborhood that’s rife with violence. Wearing bright pink T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “Moms on Patrol,” these mothers are determined stop the senseless violence that plagues their community.
Everyday from 4 p.m to 8 p.m., a group of about 15 volunteers (mostly mothers) come together near the 7500 block of South Harvard Avenue in the Englewood area, to begin their community patrol. They set up lawn chairs, cook hot dogs and hamburgers, drink coffee and patrol the neighborhood.
The founder of Mothers Against Senseless Killings (M.A.S.K), Tamar Manasseh, says she was inspired to start the organization, after she heard the news that a mother was shot and killed in a drive-by, while trying to break up a fight. Lucille Barnes, 34-years-old, was shot and killed June 23 on a nearby street corner.
MASK organizes parents, especially mothers, to take a more active role in their children’s lives, to curb violence. Beyond the time commitment, running the program is costly. Residents drop off cash donations and supplies, though Manasseh provides funding herself. The presence of the mothers, their tent and the grill, are all a way to express a welcoming sense of community.
Englewood is considered one of the most dangerous areas in Chicago for violent crime, according to the Chicago Tribune. The report, which chronicled City of Chicago data, also states that the vast majority of violent crimes take place on the street or sidewalk, where MASK is patrolling. Since the patrols have began, there have been no shootings on the street corner.
For more information on M.A.S.K: